How to make your own bath beads

Dropping a few scented bath beads into a warm bath and settling in with a good book is a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a quiet evening at home. Bath beads also make wonderful gifts for friends and can brighten up a dull and uninviting guest bathroom. Buying these little gems can get a bit expensive, however. A cost-effective solution is to make your own bath beads. With a simple recipe and a little practice, you will have mastered a skill that will keep your own bathroom colorful and give your gift baskets a personal touch.

To make scented bath beads you will first need to gather a few ingredients:
1/2 cup powdered milk

2 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoon borax powder
1/4 cup rosewater or orange water
Essential oil (or if you prefer, a fragrance oil)
Food coloring (optional)

Essential oils are made from botanicals (such as flowers, leaves, bark, or roots). Some even come from citrus peels. They are not a fragrance or perfume oils but can be purchased at most craft supply stores, bath and beauty stores, or even over the internet. You can pick whatever scent you prefer for your bath beads my personal favorite is lavender but remember, it takes less essential oil than fragrance oil to achieve the same result.

If you are feeling particularly experimental, you can create your own oil blends. That is something you would need to research; not all combinations are good for all people. If creating personal oil blends is something you would like to try, I would suggest investing in an aromatherapy book or a book specializing in safe bath product mixes.

Important directions for handling essential oils:

Read the label carefully. Keep the oils tightly sealed in a cool, dry place.
I recommend that you wear latex or rubber gloves while working with essential oils.
Do not be alarmed if the oil in the bottle smells much stronger than you expect. Pure essential oils can be harmful to your skin, and you should always keep them away from your eyes and mouth. They are not soluble in water; whole milk or vegetable oil should be used to flush oil out of the eye in the event of an accident.
Do not apply essential oils directly to your skin (such as for a bath or massage oil) without first diluting them in a carrier oil. Carrier oils include sunflower, olive, and coconut, among many others.
Please handle the oils responsibly.

Process:

  1. Gather a large bowl and wooden spoon.
  2. Combine the powdered milk, powdered sugar and borax powder. Stir until the mixture is evenly blended.
  3. Add in most of the rose or orange water (about Âľ) and your selected essential oil (approx. 10 drops depending on the oil and your preference) or fragrance oil.
  4. Optional: Add your desired amount of food coloring. Remember that this color will tint your bathwater.
  5. Continue stirring the mixture and add the rest of the water as needed until you have a thick mixture that resembles clay or play-dough.
  6. By hand roll the finished dough into small balls approx. a teaspoon in size. Place these balls on a sheet of wax paper or tin foil on a flat surface. Allow the beads to dry for 24 hours.
  7. Wash your hands thoroughly.

Now you have created your own scented bath beads. Place them in a decorative bowl to brighten up your bathroom or package them in a decorative container and wrapping to use for gifts. Most importantly Enjoy! This is just the beginning of your bath product experience. You can move on to create your own homemade bath salts, bombs, oils, etc.

Do you want to make bath beads with kids? Try this simpler method that utilizes fragrance oil instead of essential oils.
In a small bowl mix 6 tablespoons of baking soda, 3 teaspoons of cooking oil (whatever kind you have in your pantry), and 30 drops of the fragrance oil of your choice. After kneading the mixture into a dough, roll into 12 small balls and allow them to dry on wax paper for 24 hours.
These beads are not as pretty as the more detailed recipe above, but they are quick, safe, and easy for children to make.

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